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  • Andrew Pritchard

June 7th 2015 | Shelf clouds and night-time circulations

Another day, another shelf cloud. In 2008, June 7th was my career day. In 2015 it'd be just another disappointing under-achieving chase day. But again - a weekend, in June, you just go and save asking yourself why the hell you went out for later on.

The afternoon update from the SPC had an Enhanced Risk across portions of central Illinois (for damaging winds).

SPC afternoon outlook also did have a 5% tornado risk across NE Illinois:

I left Urbana as storms began erupting along a stationary boundary near the Peoria area. Brief supercell structure was apparent on radar, but it wasn't long before everyones favorite radar signature appeared - the gust front was already surging out ahead of the storms. Fantastic! I hopped off over I-74 in Morton and photographed a sad looking shelf cloud:

I dropped down to another storm near Lincoln that would be hitting the outflow boundary and perhaps interacting with it in a fun way along Highway 136 - but this storm was trying equally as little to do anything interesting at all.

So home I go - until the next line of storms comes marching into Champaign-Urbana after dark. The storms were severe warned and had a decent amount of lightning hidden in the rain but appeared overall uninteresting. When they got a bit closer, I did notice a couple 'notches' visually, and weak circulations on radar. Surveys the next day revealed a weak tornado did touch down right in front of me - hidden in the rain.

This image lined up with the location and time of the weak tornado - perhaps related to the notch that is visible above the bright cluster of lights.

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SKYDRAMA | Meteorologist & Atmospheric Photographer Andrew Pritchard

I'm a meteorologist born and raised in the American Midwest passionate about forecasting and observing severe storms.

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